From Emerging Geniuses to Established Giants The Newport Jazz Festival Swings with the Ages
Newport, RI: Jazz, like life, begins at 40! That is around the age when jazz musicians sift through their early impressionable years; when they go through the necessary period of trying to emulate their heroes, and eventually sound like themselves – singing and swinging with their own unique voices. The Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, which itself turns 60 next year, has seen numerous emerging artists evolve into the giants of jazz, and August 2-4, some living legends will once again take the stage.
The ageless 88 year-old drummer Roy Haynes has been sounding like himself for an incredible seven decades. He has played with titans Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong. Lester Young, Miles Davis. John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny, to name a few. On Sunday, August 4, he comes to the Newport stage in a swinging mood with his Fountain of Youth Band, a quartet of fire-spitting whippersnappers young enough to be his grandkids – pianist Martin Bejerano, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and bassist John Sullivan. I must be a great artist to be this age" and still performing, Mr. Haynes told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I'm an old-time player who plays modern music."
Eighty- two year-old Jim Hall is another equally modernistic musician, who, for the last six decades, has redefined musical horizons of jazz guitar; as a sideman, most notably with Sonny Rollins, Paul Desmond, Bill Evans, Greg Osby, Ella Fitzgerald, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Guiffre and Art Farmer, and as a leader, with over 30 recordings, including “Concierto, ” “All Across The City, ” “Conversations” and his latest, “Live, Vol. 2-4.” His legions of admirers, who count him as their main influence, include Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, Bill Frissell, John Scofield, and John Abercrombie. When Hall's mellow toned guitar strains cool out the Newport stage on Sunday, August 4, with the stellar sounds of his quartet featuring guitarist Julian Lage along with bassist Scott Colley, drummer Lewis Nash, you'll hear the evolution and future of that instrument in all of its six-string glory.
Cuban-born saxophonist-clarinetist and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera is another master of modern music and no wonder – he played with the legendary trumpeter/bebop co-creator Dizzy Gillespie in his last great big band, The United Nation Orchestra. Now D’Rivera leads and directs the Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Star Big Band: a lovely, supreme all-star aggregation of Dizzyfied musicians including trumpeter Diego Urcola and Claudio Roditi; bassist John Lee, percussionist Pernell Saturnino, drummer Lewis Nash and pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Given the breadth of Dizzy’s band book, they could play anything from “Night in Tunisia, ” and “Con Alma” to “Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac” and “Things to Come.” With D’Rivera’s pithy and encyclopedic sax and clarinet lines, this band is coming to burn o Sunday, August 4.
Tenor saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin also knows a thing or two about burning with a big band. He was the principle soloist in wife Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Big Band for three decades, and he played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band, Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry. His raw-boned, lyrical sound makes him an inventive and vital star in his own right, with over 20 albums as a leader, including his latest CD, “Tanuki's Night Out.” He comes to the Newport stage on Sunday with his Reunion Quartet featuring his Philadelphia homeboy, trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Lewis Nash and bassist Peter Washington. All told, it looks like it’s going to be a fine day for tenor madness.
Though a generation younger than Tabackin, tenor soprano Joshua Redman – the Harvard educated son of jazz great Dewey Redman, who burst on the scene in the 80s when he won the first Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, and served as the Artistic Director of SFjazz – brings two decades of his sophisticated swing to Newport on Sunday joined by his combo, which includes his Harvard alum, pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Greg Hutchinson. At home with straight-ahead, ballad, avant-garde, bebop, and fusion genres, Redman will keep the music real, no matter the mood or groove.
The immortal Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers was the school of hard, swinging grooves that graduated arguably the best trumpeters in jazz, from Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard to Woody Shaw, Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. A veteran of the Young Lions period of the 1980’s, Blanchard’s Crescent City trumpet tones, have given him a distinguished and diversified career with over 30 albums as a leader, along with an equally impressive career as a film composer – mostly with Spike Lee – in addition to a sterling record as an educator with The Thelonious Monk Institute. Blanchard’s recordings have featured tributes to Billie Holiday and Chano Pozo, along with an intriguing collaboration with the provocative intellectual Cornel West. He’s just signed with the Blue Note label for his latest CD, “Magnetic, ” so Blanchard will be in top form with his quintet: Cuban pianist Fabian Almazan, tenor saxophonist Brice Winston, bassist Joshua Crumbley, and drummer Justin Brown. Look for Blanchard’s musical gumbo to have the right sonic seasoning for jazz on Saturday, August 3.
The New Orleans brass band tradition moved up the Mississippi River to Chicago. And the inventive, Windy City trombonist Ray Anderson, a tradition-rooted and forward thinking artist who’s worked with Marty Ehrlich, George Russell, Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, simultaneously updates and downsizes that tradition with his Pocket Brass Band, a quicksilver fourtet featuring trumpeter Lew Soloff, bassist Matt Perrine and drummer Bobby Previte. Anderson, who currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at Stony Brook University, documented his group on his CD, “Sweet Chicago Suite, ” a Second Line tribute to the Second City comprised of a six-movement suite originally commissioned by Chamber Music America in 2001. Anderson’s slinky slide trombone is a Mardi-Gras marriage of the French Quarter with South Side swagger. Hear it, feel it on Saturday, August 3.
On his latest CD, Renaissance, uberbassist Marcus Miller – a native New Yorker who claims pianist extraordinaire Wynton Kelly and rappers Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim as cousins, teams with the New Orleans Night Tripper Dr. John on their funky, Professor Longhair-pulsed rendition of Janelle Monae’s pop hit, “Tighrope.” And, Miller – a three decade veteran studio musician who’s played with everybody from Miles Davis, David Sanborn and Boz Scaggs to Luther Vandross and Lonnie Liston Smith – brings his youthful combo featuring soon-to-be Young Lion Alex Han on saxophone to Newport on Saturday, leading with his fearless, Fretless bass and bold basslines that hold it down, whether it is R&B, hip-hop, soul, rock or jazz. Look for Miller and company to perform selections from “Renaissance, ” including WAR’s “Slippin’ into Darkness” and the Quincy Jones/Ivan Lins Brazilian composition “Septembro (Brazilian Wedding Song).” Miller fits a lot of syncopations and styles under his trademarked porkpie hat, but the important thing is that no matter the mood, mode or meter, Miller and the other veterans will get your toes tapping, with that jazzy sound of surprise.
The Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management features Natalie Cole and the Bill Charlap Trio with special guest Freddy Cole, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino (194 Bellevue Avenue) on Friday, August 2, at 8:00 pm. The festival continues on Saturday, August 3, on three unique stages from 10:30 am – 7:00 pm at Fort Adams State Park (90 Fort Adams Drive). The roster includes Wayne Shorter’s 80th Birthday Celebration: Wayne Shorter Quartet featuring special guest Herbie Hancock and Danilo Perez, John Patitucci & Brian Blade; Marcus Miller; Esperanza Spalding - Radio Music Society; Michel Camilo Sextet; Terence Blanchard Quintet; Robert Glasper Experiment; Gregory Porter; Edmar Castañeda; Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band; Amir ElSaffar Two Rivers; Bill Charlap Trio with guests Bob Wilber and Anat Cohen; Mary Halvorson Quintet; Rez Abbasi Trio, among others.
On Sunday, August 4, the music continues at Fort Adams at 10:30 am with Chick Corea & The Vigil with Christian McBride, Tim Garland, Marcus Gilmore and Charles Altura; Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra; Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band featuring Jaleel Shaw, Martin Bejerano and David Wong; Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band under the direction of Paquito D’Rivera; Hiromi: The Trio Project with Anthony Jackson and Steve Smith; Joshua Redman Quartet; Jim Hall Quartet featuring Julian Lage; Jon Batiste & Stay Human; Dee Alexander: Songs That My Mother Loved; The Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Lew Tabackin Quartet with Randy Brecker, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash; Donny McCaslin Group; Steve Coleman Projects: Five Elements, Talea Ensemble and Duo with Tyshawn Sorey; David Gilmore & Numerology featuring Claudia Acuña, Miguel Zenón, Luis Perdomo, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Mino Cinelu; and others.
TICKETS & OTHER INFORMATION
Tickets for the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management are on sale now at newportjazzfest.net, by phone and by mail.
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